WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Georgetown University is now offering a Bachelor’s Degree program for people in the Maryland Prison System, and applications are being accepted through October 29.
The program expands on the university’s Prison Scholar’s Program, which is part of the Prisons and Justice Initiative. To be considered for the program, the incarcerated person needs a G.E.D. or high school diploma and has to be at least 18 years old.
The Prison Scholar’s Program has been in the D.C. Jail since 2018. That program offers inmates the opportunity to earn credits for college courses.
Joshua Miller, the Director of Education for the Prisons and Justice Initiative said, “We’re trying to have a bigger impact, and we end up doing that by really changing the entire mindset at the jail. It really changes someone’s mindset. It helps them understand for the first time that they’re ready for a college education. It often puts them on a different path.”
The expansion of the program into the Maryland Prison System will give prisoners the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in five years.
There are currently 17,000 prisoners in the state of Maryland, and Miller said the university expects hundreds or thousands of applications to be returned. Only 25 will be accepted as the inaugural class.
Miller explained, “We’re looking for 25 people who are curious and conscientious, who have been big readers during their time incarcerated, who are excited to deepen their knowledge.”
The program will be run at the Patuxent Institution.
Miller said, “It has a therapeutic purpose. While it has a maximum security rating, it allows us to draw students from across the state, regardless of their security classification, and that was really important to us as we identified the facility.” Anyone who is selected that is currently in another prison will be transferred.
Applications are due on Oct. 29.
For more information on the program or any of the re-entry programs provided by Georgetown, click here.